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Food Tank focuses on the challenges — and opportunities — older people have in accessing healthy foods and also how they're sharing their knowledge with younger generations.
The number and proportion of older persons — defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as over 60 years old —are growing in almost all countries. On a worldwide level, the elderly population has grown at an average annual rate of 13 percent. By 2050, the over-65 population will grow to be 1.9 billion people, 840 million of whom will be living low-income countries.
In 2011, nearly 20 percent of Greece’s population was over age 65. In China, 123 million people are over the age of 65. Brazil projects 30 percent of its population will be aged 60 and over by 2050. By 2020, the population in the United States over the age of 65 is expected to increase to about 55 million.
To meet these challenges, many organizations around the world are realizing the importance of making sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. And many older people are staying active in their communities, teaching younger generations about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines.
Here are 11 programs and projects aiding older people in appropriate nutritional education, connecting them to kids, or providing access to healthy food and active lifestyles.
1. Danny Woo Garden and Children’s Garden
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the Danny Woo Community Garden was created in 1975 and makes up part of 1.5 acres of the largest green space in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District (C/ID). It consists of 100 plots, tended by 70 elderly Asian gardeners and is an important place where low-income gardeners can socialize, get exercise, and raise vegetables that reflect their cultural foods of choice. In 2009 the Children’s Garden began an intergenerational component which is a unique opportunity for immigrant elderly gardeners, most of whom do not speak English, to both teach and learn from the youth who are learning to garden through the Children’s Garden Educational Program.
2. Fly the Phoenix
This charity has projects in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Peru. Fly the Phoenix believes education and food are basic human rights. Sarah Riggott, CEO of Fly the Phoenix, reported that their older people’s program has been handing out food for some time, but now they are trial-ing veggie gardens. These gardens are in several countries and bring together whole families as well as provide nutrition to elders. Fly the Phoenix strives to keep older people as involved in the community as much as possible.
3. Gift of the Givers Foundation
In South Africa, about 1,000 Limpopo pensioners who care for their orphaned grandchildren received much needed blankets and food parcels from Gift of the Givers. They are the largest food parcel delivery agency in South Africa. This international non-governmental organization (NGO) responds to hunger crisis, feeding elders and their families through a fast, inexpensive, and efficient system of donations.
4. HelpAge International
This global network helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination, and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active, and healthy lives. They provide older people skills to start urban and rural microenterprises and the network also runs socio-legal counseling centers (COSL) in Lima and Ayacucho, Peru, helping teach older people about their rights and helping them access legal benefits and state services to which they are entitled.
5. MyPlate for Older Adults
The Elder Nutrition and Food Safety (ENAFS) program partnered with faculty and staff at the University of Florida to review and update the 2006 publication, "MyPyramid for Older Adults," to make it consistent with new dietary guidance and the USDA’s new MyPlate. MyPlate for Older Adults was introduced in September 2011 and includes lower calorie levels in the food plan due to the lower caloric needs of elderly. It also includes foods that are easy to purchase, chew/swallow, and/or prepare.
Is Your Diet Aging You?
What you put on your plate might affect what you see in the mirror. But a few tweaks to your dining habits can go a long way to keeping your skin youthful and your body healthy.
The key approach? Eat better.
"Poor-quality foods, like trans fats, cause inflammation -- and aging is basically a chronic inflammatory state," says Timothy Harlan, MD. He's assistant professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine. "Can you look older because you're eating crap? Absolutely."
For example, eating too much sugar and processed carbohydrates (like pasta, bread, and baked goods) can lead to damage in your skin's collagen, which keeps your skin springy and resists wrinkles, says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD. She's a policy analyst for Beach Cities Health District.
What's more, these foods put your overall health on the line. They are tied to diseases like heart disease and diabetes, she says.
Other foods, like fruits and vegetables, are good for your skin.
- Protein shake with berries, Greek yogurt, honey, cinnamon, and ice OR
- Oatmeal with berries
J.Lo is a girl after my own heart and likes to kick off her day with something sweet. We like to think she𠆝 love our Ultimate Healthy Breakfast Smoothie, resembling her own recipe, and we hope she’s stumbled upon The Only Basic Oatmeal Recipe You’ll Ever Need, because, really, it is!
I can definitely get behind a smoothie or bowl of oats for breakfast. But she doesn’t drink coffee—or caffeine of any kind𠅊nd I’m just not there yet. But it doesn’t seem to hold her back!
Recently being diagnosed with a cholesterol issue and also taking high blood pressure medication was all I needed to seek help to make the changes that were needed. Tracye is an amazing coach who is a great listener and awesome communicator who made this vegan transition program a wonderful experience for me. I'm happy to say that the Vegan Transition program is the reason why my cholesterol number has significantly decreased and my blood pressure has been averaging 110/70 consistently. These are both win-wins!! I'm so very thankful that this program was available and would encourage anyone that is considering a vegan lifestyle to try this program. I'm so glad I did."
"The 8 week Vegan Transition program CHANGED MY LIFE. There was no way I could have done this by myself as I tried in the past and failed. "
I was always interested in veganism and tried to transition on my own before but was unsuccessful. With Tracye's support, I learned where the food we eat really comes from, the fundamentals of nutrition, how to cook delicious vegan foods, how to eat out as a vegan and how my choice to become vegan perfectly aligns with my commitment to social justice and anti-oppression. The program is intensive and is both a time and financial investment—but my long-term health and well-being were well worth it. Tracye is a supportive and non-judgmental partner who met me where I was, asked thoughtful questions and was always there to help me refocus when I needed it. By the end of the program, I lost weight, my skin cleared up, I learned how to make healthy vegan choices and feel great, both inside and out. I have been transformed by this program and would highly recommend working with Tracye to anyone interested in going vegan for life!"
"Participating in the 8-week vegan transition program with Tracye has profoundly changed my relationship to food, my outlook on the world and, most importantly, who I am as a human being."
"After part one I was already applying veganism to my lifestyle and sharing information with my friends. I also immediately started making your recipes which are delicious. I even have my guy consuming vegan foods. Once I received your book, I read it in two days and ordered two additional copies one for one of my closest friends and the other for a co-worker. Both have begun to incorporate vegan meals into their lifestyles. Knowledge is power and I am walking in my new found power."
Thank you for your work, “By Any Greens Necessary,” and the 4-part telecourse. As a result, I am enlightened and enriched.
“Thank you for a wonderful and informative 4 weeks [about] vegan nutrition and food preparation! I thoroughly enjoyed the learning process and the every Tuesday 8 o’clock hour. Many blessings to you for your dedication to healthy eating/living.”
"I just finished listening to the Nutrition Boot Camp and I thought it was great. I had heard many of the topics before but you explained it in ways that were easy to understand and will make it easier when people ask questions about nutrition aspects of being plant-based."
Healthy Eating and Fitness Recipes for the Whole Family
Here you’ll find healthy dishes that don’t sacrifice any of the flavor that can be found in their full-fat origins. People may think eating healthy is boring but that’s furthest from the truth. You can still enjoy delicious tasting meals with healthier alternatives. I believe in the idea of everything in moderation. I do sometimes cook what you call “cheat meals” and we enjoy them occasionally.
Watermelon Feta Salad
This Watermelon Feta Salad is dreamy and so easy to make. Made with flavorful fresh herbs such as … Read More about Watermelon Feta Salad
Homemade Oatmeal Granola Bars
These homemade oatmeal granola bars are so chewy, delicious, and easy to make. Loaded with nuts, … Read More about Homemade Oatmeal Granola Bars
Mediterranean Chopped Salad
This Mediterranean salad is a twist to the classic Fattoush salad. Made with fresh vegetables and … Read More about Mediterranean Chopped Salad
Trouble Getting Enough Calories?
If you aren’t eating enough, add snacks throughout the day to help you get more nutrients and calories. Raw vegetables with hummus, low-fat cheese and whole grain crackers, a piece of fruit, unsalted nuts, or peanut butter are good examples. You can try putting shredded low-fat cheese on your soup or popcorn or sprinkling nuts or wheat germ on yogurt or cereal.
If you are eating so little that you are losing weight but don’t need to, your doctor might suggest a protein nutrition supplement. Sometimes these supplements help undernourished people gain a little weight. If so, they should be used as snacks between meals or after dinner, not in place of a meal and not right before one. Ask your doctor how to choose a supplement.
Best quick healthy recipes
Avocados make salad dressings and ice creams super-creamy, so why not put them in a pasta sauce? It’s a great way of using up overly ripe avocados.
Spiced grains with peas, spinach and jammy eggs
A riot of colour, this buttery freekeh dish is packed with spinach and peas, and flavoured with cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Orzo, bean and tuna salad
Turn storecupboard staples into this vibrant, nutritious orzo pasta salad with roasted red peppers and black olives. On the table in 20.
Healthy salmon pasta
20 minutes is all you need to make Nadine Brown’s simple and creamy (but still healthy) salmon pasta with reduced-fat crème fraîche. Peas and dill add greenery and there's lemon zest for freshness.
Healthy chicken curry recipe
This 5:2 chicken curry recipe bulks up on veg to keep the calories low. Freeze in portions for quick and healthy dinners. We have lots more healthy chicken recipes, too.
Griddled chicken with mustardy lentil salad
Check out this vibrant chicken salad with crunchy green beans, seasonal mangetout and lentils. This quick and easy salad is low calorie and ready in 30 minutes – the perfect way to start the week.
One-pot paprika cod and chickpeas
Try our punchy paprika cod one-pot with juicy tomatoes. This simple traybake is an easy, low-calorie midweek meal for when you're short on time but still want something healthy. Discover more of our savoury traybake recipes.
Courgetti with pesto and balsamic tomatoes
Who needs pasta when you can have spiralized courgette? Try our easy 'courgetti' recipe, made with baby plum tomatoes, garlic, pesto, pine nuts and a lot of courgette noodles.
Orzo risotto with cavolo nero, peas and chilli
Check out this creamy risotto with cavolo nero, crunchy peas and punchy chilli. This quick and easy veg recipe serves two and is low in calories. Try more of our risotto recipes, including a healthy freekeh risotto with spring greens.
A super quick healthy dinner idea, try this easy alternative to oven-baked moussaka. Ready in just 15 minutes, these healthy vegan bowls contain the flavours and textures of a slow-cooked moussaka, without the wait.
Chargrilled tuna with crunchy lemon bulgar salad
Check out this flavour-packed tuna steak with zingy lemon bulgar wheat salad. Ready in 30 minutes, this low-calorie recipe is a quick and easy midweek meal for two.
Chargrilled chicken chimichurri salad
Try our gluten-free recipe for chargrilled chicken chimichurri salad. This quick and easy dish serves 2 and it's low in calories, a great midweek meal. Plenty more chicken breast recipes where this came from.
Vegan fajita bowl with cauli rice
Our vegan fajita bowl with cauli rice is a healthy lunch idea which is quick and easy to make, low calorie and 5:2-diet friendly, but still delivers on flavour. Try more of our easy healthy vegan recipes.
Chargrilled tuna with harissa and potato stew
The best way to enjoy a nice tuna steak. alongside harissa potatoes. All the ingredients are easy to get hold of and it's on the table in 25 minutes for an easy, healthy bowl of comfort.
Coconut and peanut aubergine curry
This creamy coconut and peanut aubergine curry is vegetarian, under 300 calories and ready in just 30 minutes, making it the perfect comforting and healthy meal to make midweek.
Chilli beef and radish noodle soup
This chilli beef and radish noodle soup is quick and easy to prepare and ready in under 500 calories but is packed full of fresh flavours - ideal for a midweek meal. We love noodle soups for a refreshing but healthy dinner.
Sumac chicken and green bean salad
This sumac chicken and green bean salad is ready in just 20 minutes and is a great healthy lunch idea, coming in at under 300 calories. Check out more of our healthy chicken recipes here.
Healthier pad Thai
This recipe for healthier pad Thai is packed full of authentic Thai flavours but without the high calorie count as we've used courgette instead of normal noodles. It's really easy to make, ready in under 30 minutes and well under 300 calories, perfect for a healthy lunch. We have plenty more courgetti recipes here.
Spring veg and lemon broth
This recipe for spring veg and lemon broth is a quick, easy and a healthy lunch to make midweek - plus it's under 300 calories. Check out more of our quick and easy lunch ideas.
Chargrilled tuna with warm potato and bean salad
This recipe for chargrilled tuna with warm potato and bean salad is a great healthy dinner option midweek. It's also ready in under 30 minutes. Try more of our best healthy fish recipes.
Jersey Royals, spring greens and prawn fritteda
A fritteda is a light Italian stew of spring vegetables. Our version uses Jersey Royals, spring greens and prawns for a quick and healthy dinner.
Why You Need to Stop Using Foil and Use Parchment Instead
Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.
In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.
Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.
The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.
Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)
What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.
How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.
Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.
For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!
Tri-Color Mandarin Orange Salad
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
1 ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp orange juice
8 c baby spinach
1 red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 c shredded cooked chicken breast
1&frasl2 c shredded red cabbage
1 c canned water- or juice-packed mandarin orange segments, drained
1½ Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
1. WHISK together the mustard, honey, lemon juice, and orange juice in a large bowl.
2. ADD the spinach, onion, mushrooms, chicken, and cabbage to the dressing. Toss until well blended. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top with the mandarin oranges and almonds.
NUTRITION (per serving) 262 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 36 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 268 mg sodium
31 Foods You're Eating That Contain Sawdust
If you're buying grated cheese, you're eating sawdust&mdashgasp! At least that's what countless news outlets have reported recently. All the hype and outrage comes on the heels of an FDA investigation, which found that certain brands of Parmesan contain up to 8.8% cellulose&mdashaka wood pulp&mdasheven if they're advertised as 100% cheese.
That's right: There's wood pulp in your cheese. Scandalous, huh? Well, not really. Not only has cellulose been a safe, FDA-approved food additive since 1973, it's also a component of the plant foods we eat every day.
"It's a basic building block in plants' cell walls," says Sharon Palmer, RD, author of The Plant Powered Diet. "It comes from various sources, and wood pulp is just one of them." It's totally safe, too: "I'm not aware of any research that points to health risks related to cellulose in foods," says Palmer. (For the record, the FDA, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Environmental Working Group all agree.)
No matter where it comes from, though, the body reacts to cellulose in the same way: by not digesting it. Cellulose is a fiber, so by definition, our bodies can't break it down, Palmer explains. Instead, it gets passed right on out. And in this regard, it can actually be a health boon: Many packaged foods like cereals and granola bars use cellulose as a way to bump up a product's fiber content, which can help keep you full and quell subsequent cravings. (Here are 3 cravings that are a sign you have a health problem.)
So, is it fair to be pissed that almost 10% of your "100%" Parmesan cheese is actually made of plant fiber? Of course! But should we be shunning cellulose as an unsafe additive? Definitely not. Plus, it would be nearly impossible to avoid it altogether. We dove into Food Scores&mdashthe Environmental Working Group's database of more than 80,000 grocery store products&mdashand found thousands of foods that contain cellulose. Here's just a sampling of places it popped up.
Ice cream bars
Whole wheat bread
Frozen breakfast sandwiches
Frozen diet entrées
Boxed cake mix
Frozen filled pasta (like ravioli)
Packaged fruit cups
Vegetarian soy-based "meats"
Flavored coffee syrups
Cheese spreads and dips
Dried soup mixes
Frozen breaded fish
Frozen pie crusts/potpies
Bottom line: Don't sweat a little cellulose. But if you're intent on finding foods that don't use it (hey, nobody wants to get scammed on expensive Parmesan!), Food Scores is a great place to start your search. And remember, you can always grate your own cheese&mdasha little elbow grease never hurt anyone.